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Ctenotus robustus STORR, 1970

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Robust Ctenotus, Striped Skink 
SynonymCtenotus robustus STORR 1970: 100
Ctenotus robustus — COGGER 1983: 151
Minervascincus josephinae WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984
Minervascincus harringtonensis WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 34
Minervascincus robustus — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 35
Minervascincus josephinae — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 35
Ctenotus harringtonensis — SHEA & SADLIER 1999: 62 (see comment)
Ctenotus robustus — COGGER 2000: 439
Ctenotus harringtonensis — COUPER et al. 2006
Ctenotus robustus — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia)

Type locality: Barrow Creek, in 21° 31’ S, 133° 53’E, N. T. Rabosky et la. 2014 suspected that this locality may be in error.  
TypesHolotype: NMV D4957 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “A very large member of the lesueurii group, usually with a very wide black vertebral stripe and 7 upper labials. Further distinguishable from C. inornatus by more numerous nuchals (usually 3 or 4 rather than 2 or 3) and third supraciliary usually not much smaller than second.” (Storr 1975: 217)

Description: “Snout-vent length (mm): 39-123 (85.3). Length of appendages (% SVL): foreleg 22-31 (25.9), hindleg 38-47 (41.9), tail 148-223 (191).
Nasals in short contact or narrowly separated. Prefrontals usually in contact (usually short), occasionally separated very narrowly. Supraoculars 4, first 3 in contact with frontal. Supraciliaries 8-11, mostly 10 (9.6), fourth to penultimate much smaller than others and often hidden by strong brow. Palpebrals 10-13 (11.5). Second loreal 1.2-2.1 (1.65) times as wide as high. Upper labials usually 7, occasionally 8 (7.1). Ear lobules 2-5 (3.9), usually obtuse or subacute in juveniles and subadults, and truncate in adults. Nuchals 2-5 (3.4). Midbody scale rows 28-36 (29.8). Lamellae under fourth toe 17-23 (20.2), each with a wide callus (narrower in juveniles).
Dorsally and laterally brown. Broad black vertebral stripe, beginning narrowly on nape and ending on anterior quarter of tail, about as wide as a paravertebral scale, usually edged with white. White dorsolateral line from temples to ·distal quarter of tail. Upper lateral ,zone dark brown with one or two series of white dots or short dashes. Narrow white midlateral stripe from lores nearly to end of tail, sometimes broken on side of body into series of short dashes. Lower lateral zone brown, spotted with white.” (Storr 1975: 218)

Diagnosis: in Rabosky et al. 2014. 
CommentSynonymy: after Glenn Shea, pers. comm. 4 Sep 2014. The status of Minervascincus harringtonensis is unclear. It may be a valid species but is possibly a synonym of Ctenotus robustus.

Limb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
  • Bowles, F.D. 2000. A short note on the herpetofauna of Brisbane and its suburbs. Herpetological Bulletin (73): 27-29 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Colgan, D. J.; D. O’Meally and R. A Sadlier 2009. Phylogeographic patterns in reptiles on the New England Tablelands at the south-western boundary of the McPherson Macleay Overlap. D. J. Colgan; D. O’Meally and R. A Sadlier. Australian Journal of Zoology 57: 317-328 - get paper here
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • D'Amore, Domenic Corvasce; David Meadows, Simon Clulow, Jeremiah Sean Doody, David Rhind, Colin McHenry 2018. Increasing dietary breadth through allometry: bite forces in sympatric Australian skinks. Herpetology Notes 11: 179-187 - get paper here
  • Escoriza Boj, D. 2005. Australia. Reptiles and Amphibians, Part 1: Rainforest. Reptilia (GB) (40): 70-75 - get paper here
  • GARNHAM, J., AND R. OSBORNE 2020. Ctenotus robustus (Eastern Striped Skink). Nocturnal Foraging. Herpetological Review 51: 596.
  • Horner P; King M 1985. A new species of Ctenotus (Scincidae, Reptilia) from the Northern Territory. The Beagle 2 (1): 143-148
  • Horner, P. & A. FISHER 1998. Ctenotus rimacola sp. nov. (Scincidae), a new species of lizard with two allopatric subspecies, from the Ord-Victoria region of northwestern Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 19 (2): 187-200. - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Prates, I., Hutchinson, M. N., Singhal, S., Moritz, C., & Rabosky, D. L. 2023. Notes from the taxonomic disaster zone: Evolutionary drivers of intractable species boundaries in an Australian lizard clade (Scincidae: Ctenotus). Molecular Ecology, 00, 1–25
  • Rabosky DL, Hutchinson MN, Donnellan SC, Talaba AL, Lovette IJ 2014. Phylogenetic disassembly of species boundaries in a widespread group of Australian skinks (Scincidae: Ctenotus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 77: 71-82; doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2014.03.026 - get paper here
  • Reeder, T.W. 2003. A phylogeny of the Australian Sphenomorphus group (Scincidae: Squamata) and the phylogenetic placement of the crocodile skinks (Tribolonotus): Bayesian approaches to assessing congruence and obtaining confidence in maximum likelihood inferred relatio Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 27: 384–397 - get paper here
  • Singhal, Sonal; Huateng Huang, Maggie R. Grundler, María R. Marchán-Rivadeneira, Iris Holmes, Pascal O. Title, Stephen C. Donnellan, and Daniel L. Rabosky 2018. Does Population Structure Predict the Rate of Speciation? A Comparative Test across Australia’s Most Diverse Vertebrate Radiation. The American Naturalist - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1970. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the Northern Territory. J. Royal Soc. Western Australia 52: 97-108 [1969] - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1978. Notes on the Ctenotus (Lacertilia, Scincidae) of Queensland. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 6 (3): 319-332 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1971. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in South Australia. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 16 (6): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1975. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the Kimberley and North-west Divisions of Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 3: 209-243 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M., Smith, L. A. & Johnstone, R. E. 1981. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Perth: University of Western Australia Press and Western Australian Museum, 200 pp.
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Watharow, Simon 1998. Aspects of the natural history of the striped skink Ctenotus robustus at the Organ Pipes National Park, Victoria. Monitor 9 (2): 57-58
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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